Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland must still convince Lucien Favre of his match fitness despite a sensational start to life in Germany.

Haaland arrived at Signal Iduna Park from RB Salzburg last month, billed as one of the hottest properties in European football, and the teenage striker has certainly not disappointed.

He scored a hat-trick from the bench to inspire a 5-3 comeback win over Augsburg on debut and followed that with a brace in a 5-1 rout of Cologne.

The Norway international was at the double once more on his first start, with Union Berlin dismissed 5-0, although he was a substitute once more for the DFB-Pokal tie at Werder Bremen in midweek.

Naturally, Haaland scored after his introduction, although BVB fell to a 3-2 defeat.

Asked whether he regretted not starting the in-form forward, Favre kept his sights trained on the bigger picture at a Thursday news conference.

"As I said, I am the first one to [know whether to] let him play from the beginning," he said.

"You don't know his fitness like I do. So, we have to be careful. We have to be reasonable.

"Of course, I would like to let him play all games, but we still have to be careful with him sometimes.

"He is 19 years old and I speak about the pre-season and old injuries. We have to be reasonable."

Favre's hand might be forced, however, given his forward line will be without Marco Reus when they travel to face Bayer Leverkusen this weekend. 

"Unfortunately, Marco is injured now. It happened in the last minute. I am very sorry for him," said Favre, with his captain set for a four-week spell on the sidelines due to a muscular complaint that will cause him to miss the Champions League showdown with Paris Saint-Germain on February 18.

"But Marco is still very important and will be important for the team. There are several options how to replace him, but it depends on the system. Today it’s still not decided."

Emre Can, a deadline-day arrival on an initial loan from Juventus, made a substitute cameo against Werder and could make his league debut for Dortmund against old employers Leverkusen.

"We have to see him in training, how he feels. He did not play a lot [at Juventus this season]," Favre added.

"He made a good impression yesterday. The training was very long and intense. He did very well.

"He has to show in training what he is able to do. We know he can play as a defender with a back three but also in the midfield as six or eight, also in a 4-3-3.

"We will see because right now I cannot tell you exactly."

Maurizio Sarri insists his comments suggesting he would prefer to lose to Napoli than anyone else were "twisted" as Juventus fans reacted in anger.

Juve were beaten for just the second time in Serie A this season when Sarri took the defending champions to his old club Napoli, where he spent three years as head coach before leaving for Chelsea in 2018.

Sarri said he was happy for his old team to get three points given they are languishing in 10th place in the table.

Juve supporters were far from pleased with the remarks, but Sarri believes too much has been made of what he considers to be fair comments about a team who helped him to reach "the biggest club in Italy".

"I don't know much about any controversies. It seems strange to me that certain phrases were twisted," he told reporters on Saturday ahead of the league meeting with Fiorentina.

"It seems natural to me that I remain tied to those boys I worked with for three years and who allowed me to get to top clubs like Chelsea and Juventus. There's gratitude because that's where my journey started that led to the biggest club in Italy - Juventus.

"Juve fans were rightly angry because we played badly and we lost."

Juve signed Dejan Kulusevski during the January transfer window but sent him on loan to Parma for the rest of the season, meaning Sarri has no reinforcements for the remainder of 2019-20.

The squad was trimmed further as Mario Mandzukic left for Al Duhail, with Marko Pjaca and Mattia Perin loaned out and Emre Can sent to Borussia Dortmund on an initial loan with an obligation to buy.

Can had been furious to be left out of Juve's bloated Champions League squad and started just twice in Serie A under Sarri, who considers it normal for good players to find game time difficult at top clubs.

"These are normal situations," he said. "I had a group of 27 players: if among them there are one or two who have difficulty getting into the team, that's normal. It doesn't take away from his qualities.

"I didn't ask for anything in the summer or in January. The squad is strong. I have to adapt to the characteristics of the squad. I can't think of revolutionising a whole group of players."

Barcelona signed Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao on transfer deadline day, but both players must wait for their chance to shine at Camp Nou.

Fernandes will join Quique Setien's squad from Palmeiras in July after a €10million package was agreed for the 21-year-old, who has played for the Brazil Under-20 team.

Braga accepted a €31m offer from Barca for 20-year-old forward Trincao, and he will also formally join the Catalan club's ranks at the end of the season.

Both players have agreed five-year contracts, the Blaugrana announced, with Fernandes' contract including a €300m buy-out clause and Trincao's deal showing a €500m clause.

Braga will take Barca's 18-year-old striker Abel Ruiz on loan until the end of the season and then make the deal permanent for €8m, with the LaLiga club having a buy-back option.

Barca were not the only Spanish club busy in the market though, with Celta Vigo signing striker Fyodor Smolov on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow until the end of the season.

Atletico Madrid re-signed Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco, almost two years after he left to join Chinese side Dalian Yifang. The 26-year-old joined until the end of the season on loan.
 

STAYING PUT

Deadline day was as notable for the deals that looked to have fallen through as those that were completed.

Paris Saint-Germain ruled out allowing Edinson Cavani to leave, as a host of clubs fancied taking the Uruguayan off their hands, while Chelsea refused to let France striker Olivier Giroud depart Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham were among the clubs keen on Giroud, but Jose Mourinho looked like missing out on the striker he wanted to strengthen a front-line depleted by the loss of injured England captain Harry Kane.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale would not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United remained linked with Bournemouth forward Joshua King, but time was running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to add new faces to his Old Trafford squad.

United made one signing, but it was a low-profile deal as England Under-20 goalkeeper Nathan Bishop arrived from third-tier Southend United.

Arsenal brought in defender Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, champions Celtic shipped out Scotland international Lewis Morgan to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, who are part-owned by David Beckham.

Belgian side Genk allowed attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi, son of Romanian great Gheorghe Hagi, to join Scottish giants Rangers on loan.
 

KOUAME, DUNCAN IN

Serie A transfer activity was dominated by Fiorentina, who signed Ivorian forward Christian Kouame from Genoa, initially on loan. The deal will be made permanent at the end of the season.

They also brought in Ghanaian midfielder Alfred Duncan from Sassuolo in a similar deal, a loan with an obligation to buy.

Reports in Italy said Kevin-Prince Boateng was set to leave Fiorentina among the incomings, with Besiktas his destination. Turkish giants Besiktas also snapped up 18-year-old Croatian midfielder Ajdin Hasic from Dinamo Zagreb on permanent terms.

Atalanta agreed a loan deal with Nice, acquiring defender Adrien Tameze from the Ligue 1 outfit with a purchase option.

World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi cut short a season-long loan from Roma to Galatasaray, returning to his French homeland with Rennes on a six-month loan with an option for a further year.
 

HERTHA BUSY

In the Bundesliga, Emre Can left Juventus for Borussia Dortmund on Friday evening, initially on loan until the end of the campaign but with a €25m fee agreed for a potential permanent transfer.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin followed up Thursday's signing of Krzysztof Piatek by prising 20-year-old Brazilian winger Matheus Cunha from table-toppers RB Leipzig, for whom he scored nine goals in 52 games.

Hertha managing director Michael Preetz said on the club's website: "We wanted to increase the quantity and improve the quality up front, which we have been able to do with the Piatek and Cunha transfers."

Leipzig also offloaded Austrian midfielder Stefan Ilsanker to Eintracht Frankfurt. He spent four-and-a-half years at Leipzig, joining them in the second tier.

Werder Bremen signed striker Davie Selke on an 18-month loan from Hertha, the 25-year-old returning to the club where he began his professional career.

Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Emre Can from Juventus on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move.

Germany international Can joined Juve in 2018 after his contract with Liverpool expired, but has been short of match action this season.

The 26-year-old has made just eight Serie A appearances under Maurizio Sarri and was left out of the Turin giants' Champions League squad.

Can on Friday completed a return to the Bundesliga with Dortmund, initially on loan – for a fee of  €1,000,000 – and the transfer will become permanent if agreed parameters are met.

Dortmund could pay Juve €25million, over the course of three financial years, to keep the former Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich man.

"In Can we get a German national player who can be used across multiple systems in defence as well as in central midfield. A player who brings in his technique as well as his technique and has a strong will to win," said Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc on the club's official website.

"I think the team has great potential and can win something," added Can. "I am convinced that I can help them and can't wait to play in front of these fans for whom Borussia Dortmund is known all over the world for the first time."

Can becomes Dortmund's second major addition of the January window, after the club brought in striker Erling Haaland, who has scored five goals in his two Bundesliga appearances.

Haaland's stunning start allowed Dortmund to free up funds for the Can move by selling Paco Alcacer to Villarreal on Thursday, while winger Jacob Bruun Larsen has also left for Hoffenheim.

Manchester United look set to continue scrambling for strikers throughout deadline day.

While Bruno Fernandes has finally arrived, the Red Devils were reportedly less successful in a surprise bid to bring Bournemouth forward Joshua King back to Old Trafford.

Now, with the countdown well and truly on, a Tottenham target appears to have been removed from United's radar.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED PASS ON WILLIAN JOSE

Though still without Marcus Rashford, United have rejected the chance to sign Willian Jose on loan, according to Sky Sports.

Real Sociedad reportedly failed to gain a bite after offering the Brazilian striker to the Champions League aspirants amid negotiations with another Premier League club in Tottenham.

Spurs earlier looked to be in pole position to sign the 28-year-old permanently, but may now have to settle for a temporary deal as discussions continue.

The prospect of a bolstering their attack following Rashford's injury would have appealed to United, who reportedly failed in an attempt to capture Cherries star King.

The Telegraph claims Eddie Howe's insistence on keeping the Norwegian denied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the chance to reunite with the player he coached while in charge of United's reserve side.

 

ROUND-UP

- Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain will keep Edinson Cavani unless LaLiga side Atletico Madrid improve from €15million to €20m, according to ESPN reporter Julien Laurens.

- Juventus midfielder Emre Can will join Borussia Dortmund on loan with an obligation for the Bundesliga club to buy for €30m, reports Goal.

- Manchester City are set to beat Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen to Coritiba's 17-year-old Brazilian right-back Yan Couto, claims Mundo Deportivo. 

- Ricardo Rodriguez is out the door and Milan might have settled on a shock replacement. Sky Sports suggests the Rossoneri have agreed an €11.9m (£10m) deal to take left-back Antonee Robinson from Championship outfit Wigan Athletic. The Serie A side are also said to be on the cusp of signing Anderlecht youngster Alexis Saelemaekers.

- Inter and Lazio are competing to secure Chelsea centre-forward Olivier Giroud before the transfer window shuts, claims Sky Sport Italia. 

Borussia Dortmund have let Paco Alcacer depart for Villarreal and are in talks with Juventus midfielder Emre Can about a potential move.

Villarreal announced the arrival of Alcacer on Thursday, with the former Barcelona striker signing a five-and-a-half-year deal and reportedly commanding a club-record fee of €23million.

The 26-year-old Spain international enjoyed a stunning first season with Dortmund, scoring 18 goals in 26 Bundesliga appearances.

However, he has made just nine starts in all competitions under Lucien Favre this season and struggled with injuries, while the arrival of Erling Haaland from Salzburg led to increased competition for minutes.

Alcacer - linked with former club Valencia earlier in the window - has consequently returned to Spain with Villarreal, who are eighth in LaLiga and booked a place in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Wednesday.

It may not be the last of Dortmund's activity in the transfer window, with Can close to arriving from Juve.

Germany international Can was left out of the Bianconeri's Champions League squad this season and has made just eight appearances in all competitions, two of which have come from the start.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told a news conference on Thursday: "Well, the transfer window isn't open much longer and I don't like to provide any updates until something is final.

"We are talking with the player, this is no secret. But a decision hasn't been made yet."

The time might have come for Chelsea to cash in on one of their longest and most loyal servants.

According to reports, LaLiga giants Barcelona are eager to take winger Willian to Camp Nou before the January transfer window closes on Friday.

The experienced Brazilian has been with Chelsea since 2013, but his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY - BARCA WANT WILLIAN

Barcelona will test Chelsea's resolve with a late €23.6million (£20m) offer for Willian, Sky Sports have reported.

The Blaugrana are said to be are "long-term admirers" of the 31-year-old and hope to have him on board for the remainder of their title battle against Real Madrid.

Willian could leave Stamford Bridge on a free at the end of June if Chelsea choose not to cash in now.

Frank Lampard last month said contract talks were ongoing with the former Shakhtar Donetsk attacker, but he has not yet agreed a new deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- News of Barca's approach comes amid suggestions they have had an eye-watering €100m (£85m) offer for Richarlison rejected by Everton, rumours the Mirror indicates have been laughed off at Goodison Park.

- Chelsea, however, could be preparing their Willian replacement. According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League top-four aspirants are looking to sign 32-year-old Napoli forward Dries Mertens for a cut-price £6m fee.

- Barca, meanwhile, are trying to find a new home for Philippe Coutinho after learning Bayern Munich will not activate their €120m option to buy the on-loan playmaker, say Catalunya Radio.

- England international Danny Rose will spend the remainder of the season at Newcastle United after Tottenham accepted a £2m loan fee for the left-back, claim the Guardian.

- Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund must improve their bid from €22m to €30m to convince Serie A champions Juventus to part with midfielder Emre Can, claim CalcioMercato.

Mattia De Sciglio, Emre Can and Marko Pjaca have been left out of the Juventus squad to face Napoli amid links to moves away from Turin.

Full-back De Sciglio is dealing with a fitness issue but is also a reported target for Paris Saint-Germain in a potential swap deal for Layvin Kurzawa, who is also said to be interesting Arsenal.

Germany international Can is reportedly an option for Borussia Dortmund in his homeland, meanwhile, having joined Juve on a free transfer from Liverpool 18 months ago.

And Pjaca is absent following talk of an imminent switch to Cagliari.

The Bianconeri head to Naples four points clear of second-placed Inter in Serie A, while their Sunday opponents - title challengers in previous campaigns - are struggling in the bottom half.

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are hoping to sign Juventus midfielder Emre Can.

Can, 26, is out of favour in Turin and has made just two Serie A starts this season.

The former Liverpool midfielder will reportedly be allowed to leave during this transfer window and three European giants are eyeing the Germany international.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD, TOTTENHAM AND DORTMUND EYE EMRE CAN

Manchester United, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund are chasing Juventus' Can, according to SPORT1.

With Euro 2020 coming up later this year, Can wants regular playing time to earn a spot in the Germany squad.

Can made 37 appearances in all competitions for Juve last season, but has played just eight times in 2019-20.

Sportmediaset reports Juve are working on a move for Napoli midfielder Allan to replace Can.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter will wrap up a deal for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen early next week, according to Sky Sport Italia. The Serie A club will pay €18million (£15.2m) plus €2m (£1.7m) in bonuses for Eriksen, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at San Siro and Inter are targeting Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud after recognising it would be difficult to sign Napoli's Fernando Llorente, according to Sky Sport Italia.

- Barcelona are making progress in their bid to land Valencia forward Rodrigo, according to Sport. While working on a loan move, Barcelona want an option to buy at season's end, while Valencia want it to be an obligation to purchase for around €60m. The report says Barca are willing to pay Valencia a "penalty fee" if they do not make the loan permanent.

- Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Lemar is close to signing with Premier League club Arsenal, according to El Chiringuito. Lemar has made just nine LaLiga starts this season.

- Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are in talks over a swap deal. Goal reports the clubs are discussing swapping full-backs Mattia De Sciglio and Layvin Kurzawa.

- With Marcus Rashford injured, Manchester United have looked at signing Shanghai Shenhua's Odion Ighalo and Monaco's Islam Slimani, who is on loan from Leicester City, according to Sky Sports.

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has already been impressed by Alvaro Odriozola, just two days after his arrival from Real Madrid.

The full-back joined the Bundesliga champions this week on loan until the end of the season, having made only five appearances in 2019-20 under Zinedine Zidane.

Flick will have Joshua Kimmich available for Saturday's game against Schalke after the Germany star returned from a ban, but Odriozola appears to be under consideration to make his debut despite having had relatively few training sessions with his new team-mates.

"I'll leave it open," Flick said on Friday. "He's making a very good impression, he's a good player. He's an attack-minded defender, he can introduce speed, he's very agile, his crosses are good.

"I'll decide at short notice. We have another option now, which makes us more flexible."

Regardless of whether Odriozola gets his debut at full-back, Flick is prepared to throw Kimmich straight back into action.

"Joshua Kimmich is a role model," he said. "He's 100 per cent motivated in every training session, he always gives it everything, he always wants to learn more and improve. I really like this trait. He'll play."

Flick, who says Lucas Hernandez is making "good progress" in his injury recovery and could be in contention to make the matchday squad, is eager not to become distracted by the form of Bayern's title rivals.

Bayern are four points behind leaders RB Leipzig, one ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and just two above Borussia Dortmund and Schalke heading into matchday 19.

"I was very impressed by Schalke's display against Gladbach, how they pressed, how well they built up their attacks and that they won deservedly. It'll be a very tough match," he said.

"We're aware of the situation. We must focus on ourselves, it's important to live up to our full potential. We mustn't look at our rivals. They're all fired up and see a chance of winning the championship title this year.

"We must make sure we perform well and live up to our full potential in every match. Then it'll be like in the last few years: whoever wants to win the title must beat us."

Dortmund have strengthened this month with the signing of Erling Haaland, who scored a debut hat-trick in the 5-3 win over Augsburg, while Juventus midfielder Emre Can has been linked with a move to Signal Iduna Park.

"I've known Emre Can for a long time. He is a top professional with an excellent career," said Flick. "He has the quality to play for every Bundesliga club. He'd be good for every team.

"Haaland's debut was obviously impressive. That tells you everything about him."

Manchester City without Pep Guardiola?

Speculation over Guardiola's future is not going away, with Premier League champions City set to be dethroned by Liverpool this season.

And a move to Paris Saint-Germain could be on the cards…

 

TOP STORY – PSG PREPARE MAMMOTH GUARDIOLA OFFER

French champions Paris Saint-Germain are trying to lure Pep Guardiola from Manchester City, according to the Express.

Amid uncertainty over Guardiola's future, the Ligue 1 holders are ready to make a huge offer to tempt the City manager to Paris.

Guardiola, whose side appear set to finish some distance behind Liverpool in the Premier League, has also been linked with a return to Barcelona, despite their appointment of Quique Setien this week.

 

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Mirror, Premier League leaders Liverpool and rivals Chelsea will battle it out for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

- Juventus midfielder and former Liverpool star Emre Can is wanted by Everton, reports The Mirror. Can is out of favour in Turin and has been previously linked to Manchester United.

- Il Corriere dello Sport claims Sevilla want to sign Inter midfielder Matias Vecino, who appears destined to leave Milan ahead of Christian Eriksen's reported arrival from Tottenham.

- Speculation over Bruno Fernandes' future is set to drag on. Although he has been tipped to join United, Sporting CP and the Red Devils are reportedly miles apart in their valuations of the captain. While United want to bring in Fernandes this month, the Standard says they are threatening to abandon their pursuit over fears it could damage Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's transfer plans at the end of the season. Over-paying for Fernandes has prompted concerns it could impact United's interest in Leicester City star James Maddison and Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho.

Real Madrid are unwilling to loan out James Rodriguez, with Marca reporting the LaLiga giants are only interested in selling the Colombia international.

Juventus are unlikely to allow either Adrien Rabiot or Emre Can to leave the club in the January transfer window, according to chief executive officer Fabio Paratici.

Both Rabiot - signed on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in the close season - and Can have struggled to cement themselves as regular starters under Maurizio Sarri so far this season.

Rabiot has featured 10 times in total in Serie A, while Can, who was left out of Juve's Champions League squad, has played seven league matches so far, and the pair have both been linked with moves away from Turin.

However, Paratici is adamant neither player will leave this month, though confirmed there has been interest. 

"I can exclude Emre Can leaving, as he will certainly remain with us," Paratici told Sky Italia prior to Juve's encounter with Cagliari on Monday.

"On an international level, he is one of the most wanted players, but I think he can be important for our project.

"Rabiot arrived here after not playing for eight months. It's only natural on a physical level he should take time to adapt. He paid the price for that, but he has done well when used.

"We are confident, he is an important player and a guarantee for Juve, not a question mark or a doubt. We have an important squad, with a lot of competition for places, and that's how it should be at this level."

Juve have already secured their first signing for next season, agreeing a deal to bring in Atalanta midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, who is on loan at Parma this term, and at a reported €35million plus add ons, Paratici believes Juve have got a bargain.

"We would've liked to bring him to Juve straight away, but there was already a clear agreement from the start of the negotiations," Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.

"We are happy and knew full well he'd remain at Parma. He is an important player for the future of Juve and we are very happy with this deal."

With the January transfer window open across Europe, clubs will be checking their budgets to see if they can make additions for the second half of the campaign.

January is traditionally a tough time to do business with teams generally unwilling to allow stars to leave but Erling Haaland's switch from Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund shows major deals are possible.

Unsettled players around the continent may push for a chance at a new club as squads get shuffled, but who are some of the big-name stars who could be on the move this month?

We have picked out 10 players who have been strongly linked with switching teams during the January transfer window.


PAUL POGBA (Manchester United)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's recent insistence that Pogba would not leave United this month has been undermined by the latest twist in the midfielder's ongoing saga. After he was surprisingly left out of the squad for a New Year's Day loss at Arsenal, Solskjaer indicated Pogba would be undergoing surgery in a bid to solve his injury issues. An operation could make it less likely Pogba leaves Old Trafford in January, but the links to Real Madrid will not go away. For what it is worth, Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has said his client is staying at United - for now at least.


EMRE CAN (Juventus) 

Pogba's continued absence has left a hole in United's midfield, especially with Scott McTominay also out of action. Can is among the players being linked with a switch to Old Trafford after failing to make an impact at Juventus. The Serie A champions, who are reportedly interested in bringing Pogba back, are also said to be ready to listen to offers for Adrien Rabiot and Daniele Rugani with both players not regular starters under Maurizio Sarri this season.


JADON SANCHO (Borussia Dortmund) 

The biggest move of the January transfer window could involve Sancho leaving Dortmund with the England international having struggled with off-the-field issues despite fine form on the pitch during the first half of the season. Premier League sides Manchester United and Chelsea, who signed Christian Pulisic from BVB last year, are reportedly leading the race for Sancho, but he would likely cost in excess of £100million. Dortmund, having beaten off competition from various top clubs to land Haaland, are said to be willing to listen to offers for Paco Alcacer too.


EDINSON CAVANI (Paris Saint-Germain)

Another elite forward potentially on the move this month is Cavani, with PSG's all-time leading goalscorer struggling to get into the team after the successful signing of Mauro Icardi on loan from Inter. At 32, Cavani likely has one more big deal left in him with Atletico Madrid said to be keen - a swap deal involving France winger Thomas Lemar has been mooted. PSG are also reportedly ready to cut their losses on Leandro Paredes, who has made little impact since joining from Zenit.


JAMES RODRIGUEZ (Real Madrid)

Colombia star James has been on the fringes at Madrid since returning from a loan spell with Bayern Munich, making only four starts in LaLiga this season. Arsenal, Inter and PSG have all been linked with James, who has also emerged as a shock target for Everton. New Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti coached the 28-year-old playmaker at both Madrid and Bayern.


ARTURO VIDAL (Barcelona)

Another South American midfielder who could leave LaLiga this month is Vidal, who has complained about allegedly unpaid bonuses at Barca and hinted he might be open to a return to Serie A. League leaders Inter are said to be keen with Antonio Conte having worked with Vidal at Juve, where the Chile international previously won four successive Serie A titles.


JOAO CANCELO (Manchester City)

Right-back Cancelo only joined City last August but, after failing to usurp Kyle Walker as first choice in his position, the 25-year-old could be on the move again with former club Valencia and Bayern Munich both linked. Cancelo's departure would leave City even shorter of defensive options but if they can sell the Portugal international it could allow the defending Premier League champions to bring in another body elsewhere, though Pep Guardiola has ruled out signings.


CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN (Tottenham)

Denmark midfielder Eriksen is out of contract at the end of the season and has previously made it clear he is ready for a new challenge. Eriksen has found himself on the fringes under new boss Jose Mourinho and the club's notorious negotiator Daniel Levy may opt to cash in on the 27-year-old rather than watch him leave for nothing. Spurs, though, surprisingly persuaded Toby Alderweireld to commit to a new deal and it is not impossible Eriksen follows suit if the right club does not make an offer. Inter, PSG, Juve and United have all been linked and it has even been suggested Eriksen could be included in a deal to take Gareth Bale back to Spurs from Madrid.


DANI OLMO (Dinamo Zagreb)

One of Europe's most in-demand young players, Olmo will surely leave Dinamo sooner rather than later. The 21-year-old midfielder, who has already been capped by Spain, says he has an offer from Barca but the LaLiga champions face strong competition for his signature. Olmo is one of a raft of players being linked to Chelsea after their transfer ban was reduced on appeal, while Manchester United and Manchester City are among the other clubs reportedly interested.


WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

Another potential Chelsea target is Zaha, who was said to be close to leaving Palace during the last transfer window only for an £80million price tag to seemingly scare off suitors. Arsenal and Everton were reportedly interested in the Ivory Coast forward, with Roy Hodgson accepting Palace would have to consider "serious" offers for the 27-year-old this month. Blues boss Frank Lampard has denied Zaha is on his radar, however.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is coveted at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His French connection with Zinedine Zidane means there is constant speculation.

However, Pogba is set to remain at United for the time being.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID GIVE UP ON POGBA… FOR NOW

LaLiga giants Real Madrid will not sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba in January, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Pogba – still recovering from injury – continues to be linked with Madrid amid doubts over his United future.

Madrid, however, recognise there is "no chance" of prising the Frenchman from Old Trafford in the New Year.

 

ROUND-UP

- A return to Chelsea for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake looks likely, claims Bleacher Report. Chelsea have a £40million buyback clause for Ake, who left Stamford Bridge permanently in 2017. Manchester City have also been linked to the 24-year-old defender.

- Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo has turned down a move to Milan, reports RMC. The 19-year-old has also been linked to Ligue 1 outfit Monaco and Premier League giants Manchester United.

- Qatari outfit Al Rayyan have re-opened talks with Juventus regarding the transfer of out-of-favour striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. United and Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly interested in the veteran Croatian.

Napoli have offered Dries Mertens a two-year contract extension, says Sky Sport Italia. The Belgian, who is out of contract at season's end, has been the subject of reported interest from Dortmund.

- Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want to swap Leandro Paredes for Juventus midfielder Emre Can, reports the Daily Mail.

- La Nazione says Fiorentina are looking to bring former Milan striker Patrick Cutrone back to Serie A. The Italian left San Siro for Premier League side Wolves at the start of the season.

- Former Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is in talks to join Javier Mascherano at Argentine outfit Estudiantes. Iniesta currently plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan, however, TNT Sports claims the 35-year-old midfielder could move in 2020.

Maurizio Sarri has challenged his Juventus side to fight against the Champions League hangovers that threaten to derail their bid for a ninth consecutive Serie A title.

Juve have dropped points in four of their 15 league games this season, two of which came immediately after midweek Champions League fixtures.

They drew 1-1 with Lecce in October following a win over Lokomotiv Moscow and were held to a shock 2-2 home draw by Sassuolo this month after beating Atletico Madrid, before losing 3-1 to Lazio a week later.

Those results have left them trailing leaders Inter by two points and Sarri has demanded they do not suffer a similar fate against Udinese on Sunday after the 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen that concluded their Group D campaign in midweek.

"The risks of dropping the intensity levels and dropping points after Champions League games is visible in the statistics," he told a media conference. "You can't argue when it happens two or three times.

"We've got to find out why it keeps happening and fix it. There are differences playing in Serie A to the Champions League, but it's not true to say the European opponents are more open. Bayer Leverkusen focus mainly on possession, while Lokomotiv Moscow tend to clam up.

"Perhaps subconsciously our minds can drift to other targets after so many Scudetto titles in a row, but that is something we must absolutely fight against. If we are to be competitive in the Champions League, we need to be competitive in Italy, too."

Udinese are led by caretaker coach Luca Gotti, who was part of Sarri's staff at Chelsea last season.

They have failed to win any of their past four Serie A games, but Sarri is expecting a tough match at the Allianz Stadium.

"Gotti is very talented," he said. "Udinese can transform any long ball into a scoring opportunity, so we've got to be wary of that.

"They are a dangerous team that knows how to close down well and make the game tight. They have strikers who work well and can be dangerous in different circumstances."

Midfielders Adrien Rabiot and Emre Can have struggled for game time this season, with the pair starting only five times between them in Serie A, while Can was omitted from the Champions League squad for the group stage.

Sarri says both can expect to feature against Udinese and has suggested Rabiot – a free transfer following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain during the off-season – has not yet adjusted to life at the club.

"He has struggled to settle into our football, but that is normal," he explained. "He also came off an injury and struggled more in the first half in Germany [against Leverkusen], but he came out towards the end. He is also quite introverted, which doesn't help him to settle.

"Can was immensely disappointed [at being left out of the Champions League squad]. Either Can or Rabiot will certainly play and both of them may well be on the pitch for a portion of the game."

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